As Dairy Queen celebrates the 25th birthday celebration of its iconic Blizzard treat, the brand is joining in the food truck trend with its new custom-designed Blizzardmobile.
The mobile truck will roll out to 25 cities across the United States and Canada, distributing more than 75,000 free new Mini Blizzards. The new size, which is about half the size of a small 12-ounce Blizzard, is scheduled to debut in DQ restaurants in August.
The tour kicks off in New York on April 8 and 9. The high energy celebration will include activities, games, music, a chance to win prizes and giveaways of the free Minis, all while raising awareness and funds for Children's Miracle Network.
"This is a momentous chapter in Dairy Queen history as we celebrate the 25th birthday of our signature Blizzard Treat and the 70th anniversary of the brand," Michael Keller, chief brand officer for International Dairy Queen Inc., said in a news release. "Dairy Queen is all about connecting with our customers and the Blizzardmobile will engage Blizzard fans all over North America with the treat they love in exciting new ways. This is a one-of-a-kind celebration for an iconic brand with a vehicle that will be hard to miss both in person and through an integrated online marketing campaign."
The body of the Blizzardmobile is shaped like the 25th birthday cup topped with an Oreo Blizzard, including the red spoon. Red spoons also decorate the top of the truck's cab and serve as windshield wipers. Upside down Blizzard cups have replaced the side mirrors. Red lips, a staple of Dairy Queen's television commercials, adorn the front, side and rear of the truck. The side panels will open into the truck's interior, where more than 2,000 Blizzard samples will be served in each city.
"Our goal was for this truck to really stand out as it drove through cities and towns across North America," Keller said. "And I'd say we accomplished that. It's definitely noticeable."
The Blizzardmobile will stop at several select locations in each of the 25 cities during the tour. Some stops will feature an extensive celebration that includes an emcee, music, photo opportunities, a "snow storm," free Mini Blizzards and a chance to experience the Blizzard Blaster — a giant, upside down, inflatable Blizzard cup filled with chilled, swirling scented air. Blizzard fans will don goggles and arctic mittens fashioned with oversized spoons as they step into the Blizzard Blaster for 25 seconds to try and grab coupons, amid swirling confetti, for prizes.
Some stops will be quick sampling events at local DQ stores determined by Blizzard fan club members, who will vote to decide at which location the vehicle will stop.
Dairy Queen is supporting the Blizzardmobile's North American tour with various digital media campaigns. On its Facebook page, fans can track the truck's progress via photos, videos and blog posts. A complete list of future tour stops and dates is also available on Facebook.
Facebook visitors also will find a series of webisodes starring Blizzard's first family, the Blizzmanns. The webisodes trace the Blizzmanns' life on the road chasing the Blizzardmobile complete with sing-a-longs, teenage crushes, a run-in with the police and make-up lessons from disgruntled clowns.
In addition, Dairy Queen is hosting several other activities online including photo and video contests.
Dairy Queen's celebrations and contests will be promoted on Twitter.com/DairyQueen and blog.DairyQueen.com. Fans also can join in the festivities online with two creative promotions, "Operation Happy Birthday" and "Capture the Cup."
"Operation Happy Birthday" launches May 1 on the Dairy Queen blog and invites bloggers, video bloggers, families and anyone with a camera, camcorder or mobile recording device to record and submit a video clip, no longer than one minute, with their most original, creative or funny version of singing "Happy Birthday" to the Blizzard. The challenge ends Aug. 1, when 100 videos will be selected and featured on Dairy Queen's Facebook page and YouTube channel (YouTube.com/dqvideos). The top 100 entrants will receive a $25 Dairy Queen gift card.
The "Capture the Cup" photo contest launches on June 1 on the Dairy Queen Facebook page and invites DQ fans to submit photos of themselves interacting with a Blizzard in both fun and unique situations and places. Fan votes throughout the contest will determine the best photo. The winning photographer will be awarded free Blizzards for a year. The contest and voting run from June 1 – July 31.
New Blizzard flavors
In new flavor news, Dairy Queen continues the 25th birthday of the Blizzard celebration in-store with new Blizzards beginning in April with the Ooey Gooey Caramel Brownie Blizzard. New Blizzard of the Month flavors also will be introduced in May, June and July.
Then from April 19-25, Dairy Queen locations will celebrate Customer Appreciation Week when fans can buy one Blizzard and get a second for 25 cents.
Dairy Queen first introduced the Blizzard in 1985 and changed the concept of frozen treats, spawning multiple copycats. Dairy Queen Blizzard fans have created a subculture celebrated in the Blizzard Fan Club, which launched in 2005. Today the Fan Club has nearly 2.3 million members. Dairy Queen rewards fan club members with six free Blizzards a year.